Monstrous Compendium Ch4 bit – Sleepy Morning

Did that hay squeak?

It did. And Klein could see a curve of a gray-furred ear, smell a distinct mix of fur and earth and grain that somehow summed up to mouse

Klein pounced.

With an ear-itching high squeal, the mouse burst into polygons.

“…Damn it.”

A few yards away, Issin cracked open sleepy blue eyes. “Saying that ‘cause you pounced it,” he yawned, fangs gaping wide, “or ‘cause you wanted to eat it?”


That sparked a tussle. And some swearing. And a mighty free-for-all in red, with one black shadow crawling out of his hidden nest in the hayloft to watch, shake his head, and maybe grin. Just a little.

All in all, not a bad way to start the morning.

“Okay,” Klein summed up, as they finished their breakfast with the rest of the Mistfeathers’ ranch hands. Fuurinkazan plus two, now, as it’d been most waking hours since they’d left the mausoleum a few nights back. And that was interesting. “We got the Willow Charcoal to fire the purifying kiln. We got the Obsidian Shards that Vincent says ought to take in the curse when the sentira heats up. We’ve got the Winged Serpent Venom to pour onto the dorje before it’s fired; nice shot, Tae.”

The draconic archer blushed, red making the pearly scales scattered over her cheeks stand out like reverse freckles. “I’m glad I helped.”

“So are we.” Dynamm smiled at her, only half his attention on whatever Klein was saying.

Got to tease him about that later, Klein noted. Not that he could blame his friend. Scales weren’t Klein’s thing, but pearl-white hair and feathered wings turned a pretty girl into someone who’d taken a wild back road out of heaven.

A really mean back road, between the fangs, claws, and bow that could put a shaft through small trees. Solo or partying with the Siren Sisters, Tae had a reputation as a good mid-level grinding toward being a clearer. She’d proven her skill in the fight with the Winged Serpent, arcing her arrows through the forest to spread the magical net that had let Fuurinkazan capture the monster without killing it. Because Issin, shaman that he was, had pointed out something Klein hadn’t even thought of: this quest was about purification.

And on top of that, Kirito had confirmed that yes, he knew Vincent. And this was the same elan ranger who’d given him the quest with the Nightjars.

So no killing. Not when they didn’t have to; not unless it was self-defense. The Winged Serpent was a strong and dangerous mob, but it’d left Snow Springs alone. They had no reason to kill it.

The net had been a pain in the neck.


30 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch4 bit – Sleepy Morning

  1. Either I’m not parsing this right or something is off with the wording.
    >Tae had a reputation as a good mid-level grinding toward being a clearer.>

    They’re talking as if Tae is a player. The problem is that back in the ch3 bit ‘Need More Coffee’ Tae and her father Lusliat are talked about by Tetsutora as locals, not summoned foreigner humans that the players are.

    Or instead is this line referring to a questchain that is associated with her? Because if it’s this, the quoted sentence seems to need a clarifying word or two after ‘grinding’.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. >*EG*>
        Now why should I have seen this answer coming?
        Oh right, previous behavior. 😛

        On another matter, I know you said you were going ‘cute monster girls/boys’ for the monster species but how do you get feathery wings for a draconic?

        I mean last I checked dragons and related species all had wings much closer to bats in design. Unless of course the girl is descended from a couatl or something.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Think of Pina. Pina is explicitly feathered, and a dragon-thing. Sure, there might also be non-feathered dragons in any of the involved settings, but feathered ones are perfectly canon too.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >> how do you get feathery wings for a draconic?

        >> Unless of course the girl is descended from a couatl or something.

        Smart money says you answered your own question there. Ashley’s right, there are other ways for Dragons to be feathered, but this is Eberron. Coautls kinda have a major place in the background lore.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. trantos01
        Have you ever played the Lunar games? They feature some of the most awesome dragons I’ve encountered (maybe not the most powerful, but still pretty awesome) and almost all of them have feathered wings.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. >but this is Eberron. Coautls kinda have a major place in the background lore.>
        That’s news to me. Though every depiction of them includes green scales and rainbow-colored wings. This girl was described as pearl white scales, hair and presumably wings as well.

        >Have you ever played the Lunar games? >
        Never heard of them.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. trantos01

        That’s sad. They’re good games, but I don’t think you can find them anymore. If you want to try thought the best versions (aka the ones I played :P) are known as:
        Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
        Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

        Liked by 2 people

      7. -quick google-
        That clears it up.

        I’m a PC user and those are Playstation/Sega Saturn games. Never owned a console in my life.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Given our Evil Authorial Overlady’s response, I’ve got a couple theories (because, yeah, that is weird and I noticed it too).

      First is that Tae is a ‘local’ like Klein is. Tae’s just one of the players who was adopted Yokai style by one of Tetsutora’s villagers and maintains a closer relationship that most players with the NPC who adopted them.

      Second theory is that Tae’s an undercover citizen of the real Aincrad, dropped amongst the players for… a variety of reasons, and when Tetsutora mentioned Tae’s father earlier that was a slip of the tongue (or more likely given Tetsutora a hint/test of these knuckleheads).

      I’ve got a few other theories including things like: Modify Memory; or Tae and her dad both being players who settled down in the village like Kirito and Asuna briefly did in canon! or even some combination. But the first two are the most thought out at this point.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Continuing discussion of Coautls in Eberron: I hadn’t realized it myself until I descended into the Eberron fandomwiki a few days ago and then found myself coming to as if from a trance later with numerous new tabs open and no idea how many hours it’d been.

      Long tangent short, you remember the Silver Flame that keeps getting mentioned? It’s one of the most active faiths and most active divinities in-setting. It is an openly known and publicly acknowledged fact that the Silver Flame they worship is mostly made from the souls of numerous Coautls’ who sacrificed themselves to seal a great evil.

      This is one example of the sheer badass and plot relevance Couatls have in Eberron. Eberron makes a point that most of its divinities are extremely hands off, and Aligned Outsiders are far less common than most other DnD settings. But any time the background lore needs some celestial being to be there and do the heavy lifting that other settings parse out amongst Angels, Archons, and Eladrin, in Eberron you’re going to find the Couatls getting their hands- . . . Wings(?) dirty instead. It’s one of the minor setting elements I’m rather fond of, to be honest.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Saying that ‘cause you pounced it,” he yawned, fangs gaping wide, “or ‘cause you wanted to eat it?”

    It could be both.

    You know how cats are. And what is a weretiger but rather large cat?

    Through interestingly enough, I don’t think Klein is going to be the person people wish they could bell.
    Like: “If I could figure out how to get one on you that won’t make you monster chow, I would. I so would.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. … *snrk*

      >> You know how cats are. And what is a weretiger but rather large cat?

      Now I just want to see a picture of Klein – or better yet Tetsutora – pulling the classic cat ‘If I fits, I sits.’

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Looks like.

        Well, they are cats. And it is very typical for cats to find a person and go “Yep. You’ll do” and/or “Oh I like . . . Mine!” and refuse to budge. Trying to convince the cat that you aren’t their person or they made a mistake picking you for their human is kinda of like trying to bail out the ocean with a teaspoon. Pretty pointless and earns a very unimpressed look from the onlookers (ie. the cat).

        Liked by 2 people

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